Civil Rights and Language Access Policies: Background and Timeline
The Kettleman Title VI Civil Rights Settlement was developed out of a Title VI complaint filed by Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice (Greenaction) and El Pueblo/People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City (El Pueblo) against the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The civil rights complaint was filed over DTSC’s 2014 permit expansion approval for the Kettleman Hills Hazardous waste landfill. El Pueblo and Greenaction objected to DTSC’s permit decision on numerous grounds, including that it violated their civil rights.
Through the facilitated complaint mediation process, which lasted from January 2016 to August 2016 the DTSC, CalEPA, El Pueblo and Greenaction reached a settlement agreement that included numerous provisions, including the development of the Title VI Civil Rights and California Civil Rights Policy and the Language Access Policies. The agreement was the first example of a voluntary resolution jointly developed by state agencies and community groups under Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act.
Key milestones for the development of the Policies include:
- Release of the draft policies in August 14, 2017 with public comment closing on October 31, 2017. Additionally, DTSC provided an outline of the draft Civil Rights and Language Access Implementation Plan. DTSC received comments on the draft Policies during an August 14 meeting with the California Environmental Justice Coalition (for a full recording of the meeting, please visit our YouTube site to watch the video). Formal comments were also received from:
- Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice (Civil Rights Policy Comments – 10/30/2017)
- Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment (Civil Rights Policy Comments – 10/24/2017)
- California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA) and El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpia (El Pueblo) (Civil Rights Policy Comments – 10/31/2017)
- The full draft Civil Rights and Language Access Implementation Plan was provided in October 2017 and was made available in Spanish in February 2018. DTSC received public comments through May 14, 2018. Formal comments were received from:
- Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment (Draft Civil Rights and Language Access Implementation Plan and Policies Recommendations – 5/14/2018)
- California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), El Pueblo Para el Aire y Agua Limpia (El Pueblo) and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice (Comments on October 2017 Draft Civil Rights and Language Access Implementation Plan – 5/14/2018)
- The Policies were finalized on March 29, 2018. DTSC provided a master response to comments on the draft Policies. The response document was intended to address the primary concerns raised in the public comments received on the draft Policies. DTSC reviewed and considered all comments received, and revised the policies in response to these comments. View the Master Response to Comments document for details.